Current Members



RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

Michael_Research_AssociateMichael lundin
mlundin@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Dr. Lundin joined Professor Mark Shiflett’s research group as a Research Associate in January 2021. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2003 during which time he worked at the Center for Applied Energy Research designing and building the control system and data acquisition system for an iron catalyst-based Fisher-Tropsch pilot plant. In 2009 he earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Notre Dame. For his doctorate, he modeled bubble coalescence in the multi-phase flows present in direct methanol fuel cells. He then joined the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysts at the University of Kansas, where he led projects ranging from a collaboration with Archer Daniels Midland Co. to investigate the use of liquid CO2 as a medium for the ozonolysis of fatty acid methyl esters to an effort with W.R. Grace & Co. investigating the modification of microporous catalysts for enhancing the yields and directing selectivity in the synthesis of pyridines using a fluidized bed reactor. Dr. Lundin is currently working on an industry funded project to design an ionic liquid-based gas absorption system.

Berlyn Mellein
berlyn.mellein@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Berlyn Mellein joined Professor Mark Shiflett’s research group as a Research Associate in January 2020. Dr. Mellein received her B.S. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Notre Dame in 2008.  For her doctorate, she studied the anti-solvent ability and solvatochromatic effects of CO2 in ionic liquid/organic mixtures. She then joined DuPont, where she contributed to programs ranging from increasing production capacity by studying fundamental properties of polymer fibers to studying oxalate chemistry for TiO2 and Fe2O3 production. Dr. Mellein is currently working in collaboration with ExxonMobil to better understand thermophysical properties and vapor liquid equilibria of hydrocarbons in aqueous salt solutions.

Raj New Pic Profile 1986 Resize.jpgRajkumar Kore
KU Profile
rrkore@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Dr. Rajkumar Kore has been working as a Senior Researcher with Dr. Mark Shiflett’s research group since May 2018. His current research interests are design ionic liquids (IL) for catalysis, separation, materials development, etc. Prior to joining Dr. Shiflett’s group, Dr. Kore worked as a postdoctoral research scientist with Prof. Robin D. Rogers’ group at The University of Alabama from November 2014 to April 2018. There, he worked on multiple IL-based projects, led a team of research postdocs on an industrially sponsored project (from Reliance Industries) and developed several homogeneous and heterogeneous ILs used for catalysis and separation processes. Dr. Kore completed his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar with Prof. Rajendra Srivastava, from 2010 to 2014. His doctoral study was primarily focused on the development of ILs as well as porous materials like hierarchical zeolites for catalysis. Prior to his Ph.D., he worked as a research assistant on development of a continuous process for biodiesel in the Indo-US project in NCL Pune from 2009 to 2010. He has 34 research articles (with 708 citations), 4 US patents granted and filed 3, 15 notice of invention submitted on new catalysts, and multiple other works under review.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Hannes Schmidt
hannes.schmidt@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Hannes Schmidt received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Rostock in 2019 for experimental analyses of thermodynamic seawater properties at PTB, the national metrology institute of Germany. Hannes’ results sparked a multidisciplinary discussion on oceanographic standards and enable reliable thermohaline circulation and climate predictions. In Dr. Shiflett’s working group, Hannes is researching the interaction of refrigerants with low global warming potential and lubricants in collaboration with the Chemours Company, in order to advance climate-friendly chilling processes.


Graduate Students

CJ_headshot1Cj ponge
cjponge@ku.edu

CJ earned his Bachelor’s degree (2016) and Master’s degree (2021) in Chemical Engineering (minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship) from Villanova University. He ran the Thermodynamics Laboratory at the Chemours Company (2017-2021) measuring VLE and thermophysical properties of Fluorocarbon mixtures.  He is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Kansas as a member of the Shiflett research group.  His research is focused on the adsorption of PFAS using Zeolites.

 
Al-barghouti_Karim_2046Karim Al-barghouti 
karim_5@ku.edu

Karim obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in May of 2020. In the summer of 2019, Karim worked under the mentorship of Professor Aaron Scurto as an REU student at KU. His work focused on analyzing thermal properties of refrigerants and ionic liquid mixtures. In August of 2020, Karim rejoined KU to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering under the direction of Professor Aaron Scurto. His current work focuses on transport properties of refrigerants and ionic liquid systems.

Abby-HeadshotAbby Harders
abbyNharders@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Abby graduated summa cum laude from Bethel College in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Kansas in the Shiflett Research Group. Abby is a member of Project EARTH, a project focused on identifying sustainable processes for the selective separation of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant mixtures. Her research is centered on using membranes for the separation of HFC mixtures that contribute to global warming.

Kalin Baca
kalinbaca@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Kalin Baca received her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering in May of 2018, Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in December 2019 and Master of Business Administration in December 2019 from the University of New Mexico. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Kansas as a student in the Shiflett Research Group. Her research is focused on the separation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) using ionic liquids.

Nicole Montoya
nicole.montoya@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Nicole Montoya graduated with her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering from the University of Kansas in May of 2019. She joined the Shiflett lab in January of 2020 to pursue her M.S in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on the thermal stabilization of vaccines using mesoporous silica in order to eliminate the need for a cold chain transport and increase global vaccine impact. Other research interests include drug delivery and biomaterials.

averma.jpgAnkit Verma
KU Profile

ankitverma@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Ankit received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India in 2016. He was admitted for his PhD at KU in fall 2016 as a Chancellor’s Fellow. During the first two years of PhD he has worked on development of carbon nanotubes based high surface area materials. Under the guidance of Dr. Shiflett, Ankit is currently working on metal separations from mixed metal oxides. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career in industrial research.

NickNicholas Reding
KU Profile

n221r069@ku.edu
LinkedIn

Nicholas Reding received his Bachelor and Master of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas in 2016 and 2019, respectively. Nicholas currently works in the field of explosion protection, designing and consulting on protection solutions for a wide range of applications. After several years of industry experience, he decided to continue onward in his pursuit of a doctorate in chemical engineering. His research interests include process safety, combustion science, and explosion protection (more specifically, suppression and isolation of non-standard deflagrations). Under the guidance of Dr. Shiflett, Nicholas is currently working on a study that applies computational fluid dynamics and numerical modeling techniques to predict pressure evolution during contained metal dust explosion events. Working in collaboration with Fike Corporation, his primary focus is to standardize the industry’s approach toward hazard assessment and mitigation solution design for nonstandard metal dust applications. Upon graduation, Nicholas plans to explore complex research studies with continued attention towards industry-related projects in his field.

Andrew Yancey
andrew_yancey@ku.edu
LINKEDIN

Andrew earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Baylor University in 2019. He is currently working toward earning a M.S in Chemical Engineering and later plans to pursue a PhD while at KU. His initial research focuses on the development of zeolites and other porous media for the selective separation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career in industry.

Ethan Finberg
ethan.finberg@ku.edu
LINKEDIN

Ethan Finberg graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Kansas in 2019. Following graduation, Ethan was hired by the Chemical & Petroleum Department and began working with Dr. Shiflett as an instructor for the Senior Chemical Engineering Laboratory course. Ethan continues to teach this course and, as of January of 2020, began research with Dr. Shiflett in pursuit of a M.S. in Chemical Engineering. Ethan’s graduate research involves modeling and building an extractive distillation column to separate refrigerants using an ionic liquid solvent.


Senior Scientists

David R. Corbin, Ph.D.
David.R.Corbin@ku.edu

Dr. Corbin is an adjunct senior research scientist with 32 years of industrial research experience. He has issued 62 US patents and has published more than 130 publications, in addition to co-editing two books on porous materials. His research interests include applications of inorganic materials to industrial problems, zeolites, separations, and metal oxides.

leffewKenneth Leffew, Ph.D.
kenneth.leffew@villanova.edu

Dr. Leffew is an adjunct professor at Villanova University.  He retired from DuPont in 2016, where he held the highest technical position in the company, DuPont Fellow.  In his 41 year career there, he was involved in the discovery, development and commercialization of numerous polymer processes and products, including Neoprene, PET for bottle resin, PMMA, Ethylene copolymers, polymers for optical disks, color copier toner, OLED devices, flexible solar cells and methanol fuel cells.  He received DuPont’s Engineering Excellence Award four times and is inventor on 29 US Patents and has over 60 publications and presentations.  His interests include polymerization reactor design, polymer process synthesis and processing, advanced process control and product design.


Undergraduate Student RESEARCHERS

hjinHannah Jin 
jiayingjin@ku.edu

Jiaying (Hannah) is in the class of 2025 majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in biomedical engineering. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she will be working with Kalin Baca as a part of Project EARTH. Jiaying is also a part of the KU Honors Progam. In her free time, she loves watching shows, spending time with friends, travelling, and reading.

 

noahvalverdeNOAH valverde                                                          noah.r.valverde@ku.edu

Noah Valverde is in the class of 2025 at the University of Kansas pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering with an environmental emphasis. He is currently working with graduate student Andrew Yancey on searching for a zeolite capable of separating azeotropic HFC refrigerant mixtures in Dr. Shiflett’s lab. Noah is involved in Engineering Student Council and Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity on campus.

NasrinNasrin Shahlari                                                            nasrinshahlari@ku.edu

Nasrin is in the class of 2023 at KU studying chemical engineering in Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she will be a part of Project Discover. Nasrin is a member of The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the University Honors Program, and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In her free time, she enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and baking!

9BEC31B1-FB57-4DB6-B24C-F66E65CFFAFDVincent Hsiung                                                                vhsiung@ku.edu

Vincent is in the class of 2024 double majoring in chemical engineering and music. In Dr. Shifflett’s lab, he is working with Dr. Rajkumar Kore on converting waste biomass into reusable materials. Vincent is the KU EXPO Activities Chair for the Engineering Student Council, as well as the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity’s scholarship chair. In his free time, he enjoys listening to and playing music, as well as hanging out with friends and going to the gym

Bio_pictureclarice sabolay                                                                  cmlay18@ku.edu

Claire is in the class of 2024 studying chemical engineering with a biomedical emphasis. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she will be working with CJ Ponge on the adsorption of PFAS using zeolites. Outside of research, Claire is involved in Engineers without Borders and Society of Women Engineers.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, and watching movies.

IMG_7420Abigail Haas                                                                   ahaas190@ku.edu

Abi is in the class of 2023 studying chemical engineering with an environmental emphasis. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she works Karim on analyzing thermal properties of refrigerants and ionic liquid mixtures. Abi is an active member of Alpha Sigma Kappa- Women in technical studies. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, chess, and traveling

IMG_4062Maxim Cordry                                                                  max.cordry@ku.edu

Max is in the class of 2024 studying chemical engineering with a materials emphasis.  He has an interest in pursuing ways to extract perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water using zeolites in Dr. Shiflett’s lab.  Outside of research, Max is Treasurer of the KU Chess Club.  He enjoys playing video games, adding to his collections, watching movies, and listening to music.

Abbey_UndergradAbbey Blue                                                                    ajb4397@ku.edu

Abbey is in the class of 2025 at KU studying chemical engineering. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she will be a part of Project EARTH which studies separations of hydrofluorocarbons. Abbey is a member of the University Honors Program and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and playing volleyball.

bioTessie May                                                                    maytessie@ku.edu

Tessie is an honors student in the class of 2024 studying chemical engineering. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she will be working as a part of Project EARTH. Tessie also serves as the Director of Administration for Delta Delta Delta as well as the Registration Chair for the University of Kansas Engineering Expo under Engineering Student Council. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, exploring Lawrence, and being outdoors.

PicLuke wallisch
lukewallisch13@ku.edu

Luke is a sophomore from St. Paul, MN studying mechanical engineering. He is working with Abby Harders on Project EARTH, developing membranes for the separation of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant mixtures. Luke is a member of the KU branch of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In his free time, he marches as part of the Marching Jayhawks and enjoys scientific YouTube videos and documentaries.

DorothyDorothy haggard
dhaggard@ku.edu

Dorothy Haggard is in the class of 2024 at the University of Kansas with a major in chemical engineering with a pre-med emphasis and a minor in Spanish. She is working with graduate student Kalin Baca on the use of ionic liquids in separating hydrofluorocarbons as a part of project EARTH. Dorothy is a KU global scholar, Social Chair for Society of Women Engineers, plans to graduate with honors qualifications, and serves as a KU engineering student senator during the 2021-2022 school year.

shifpicTiana bish
tianamb@ku.edu

Tiana Bish is in the class of 2024 studying chemical engineering with a biomedical engineering minor at the University of Kansas. She works with Andrew Yancey on developing zeolites for the separation of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant mixtures in Dr. Shiflett’s lab. Tiana is involved in the Society for Biomaterials and is a part of the University Honors Program. 

20210211_091308daniel cho
d066c118@ku.edu

Daniel is currently a sophomore pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a biomedical emphasis and a minor in math at KU. He is working with Dr. Ana Morais and Dr. Shiflett on Project Shell which is converting waste biomass into reusable materials and chemicals. Daniel is involved with AIChE and is part of the University Honors Program. In his free time, he enjoys reading and working out

Composite picPierson Adamson
piersen.adamson20@ku.edu

Piersen Adamson is from Omaha, NE majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in business in the class of 2024. He is working with Dr. Ana Morais and Dr. Shiflett on Project Shell, which is developing technology for conversion of biomass into new materials and chemicals. He is a member of the Society for Biomaterials and also the alumni relations chair of my fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and working out at the gym.

Jackson_UnergraduateJackson Mayuga
jackmayuga@ku.edu

Jackson is a junior studying Chemical Engineering with a pre-medicine emphasis. Jackson is working with Dr. Ana Morais and Dr. Shiflett on Project Shell, which aims to convert waste biomass into reusable materials and chemicals. In his free time, Jackson mentors a local FIRST robotics team, is involved with intramural sports, and enjoys travelling.

Elizabeth_UndergraduateElizabeth funk
elizabethfunk02@ku.edu

Elizabeth is in the class of 2024 studying chemical engineering with a biomedical emphasis. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she will be researching cold chain independent vaccines using inorganic vehicles. Outside of research, Elizabeth is involved in the KUEST One Scholars Program, Vann Scholars Program, and the University Honors Program. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, sewing, and taking care of her plants. 

Aria_UndergraduateAria Sheldon
aria.sheldon@ku.edu

Aria is in the class of 2024 studying chemical engineering. She is working with Dr. Ana Morais and Dr. Shiflett on Project Shell, which is focused on conversion of biomass into new materials and chemicals. In her spare time Aria enjoys running, watching movies, and reading. Aria is a member of the KU Running Club and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). 

Shiflett Lab PhotoMadelyn Bennett
madelyn.gbennett@ku.edu

Madelyn is in the class of 2023 studying chemical engineering with an environmental emphasis. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she works on the ionic liquid approach on Project Earth. Madelyn is an iHAWKe ambassador. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and KU Solar Car. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, jewelry making, and dancing. 

School_Of_Engineering_Career_Fair_2020_130Alexander Henne
henne_a@ku.edu

Alexander is in the class of 2023 at KU pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a minor in business. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab he will be working on metal separations from mixed metal oxides. Alexander is also a member of Engineers Without Borders. In his free time he enjoys hiking, fishing, and playing guitar.

 

Raja_Abhishekram21_2017Abhishekram Raja
abhishekram.r@ku.edu

Abhishekram is currently a sophomore studying chemical engineering. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, Abhishekram works with Dr. Rajkumar Kore on development of ionic liquid-based materials for sustainable processes. In his free time he enjoys reading, hiking, cycling, and watching movies.

 

EthanEichberger_HeadshotEthan Eichberger 
ethaneichberger@ku

Ethan Eichberger is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kansas. He is researching the interaction of refrigerants with low global warming potential and lubricants under the supervision of Dr. Hannes Schmidt. At KU, Ethan is also involved in Jayhawk Motorsports and peer tutoring.

 

Erin Sturd
ersturd@ku.edu

Erin is currently a junior studying chemical engineering at KU. In her free time, Erin serves as the Vice President of Campus Relations of Engineering Student Council and as a varsity member of the KU Crew Rowing Team. She is also a part of the University Honors Program and the KUEST ONE Scholars Program.

 
Teresa soraoka
teresa.soraoka@ku.edu

I am currently a junior pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I am studying the effects of ionic liquids on hair and I hope to continue working in the cosmetology field of Chemical Engineering throughout college and after graduation. I am also involved in iHAWKE and a new scholarship program at KU called KUEST ONE.

 
Rhianna Roth
rhianna.roth@ku.edu

Rhianna is currently a senior pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering with a Biomedical emphasis. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab, she works on Project Protium and Project Tritium studying membrane permeability with Erin Sturd. Rhianna also serves as the Vice President of the ​Jayhawk Club Water Polo team.

Greta Olsen
gretaolsen@ku.edu

Greta is a junior at KU studying chemical engineering with an environmental focus. In Dr. Shiflett’s lab she will be working on refrigerant separation in order to decrease their global warming potentials. As a member of the University of Kansas Swim and Dive team, Greta competes in butterfly and sprint freestyle events. In her free time, she enjoys reading and being outdoors.

Lucia Matamoros
lmatamoros@ku.edu

Lucia is currently a sophmore studying chemical engineering with an environmental concentration. She will be working in the ionic liquid portion of Project EARTH, which focuses on the separation of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants that have a high global warming potential. Lucia is part of the University Honors Program and a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In her free time she enjoys reading, swimming, and watching movies.